Focus on the Easter II (Sexagesima): God, our healer
Today, known as the Sexagesima Sunday, we count down eight weeks to Easter. Sexagesima is used to refer to “sixtieth day” to Easter, though it is actually 56 days. Thus, the focus of the church now remains Easter via Lent.
As we look forward to the total restoration of life, which Easter demonstrates, God reveals Himself today as the Restorer of our health – our Healer. In Exodus 15:26, He said: “I am the LORD that heals you (Jehovah Rapha) thereby identifying Himself with what He does. Therefore, it is not only that it is God’s will and nature to heal, but it is also His name.
Healing was a significant aspect of the ministry of Jesus and the Apostles. There are a total of 21 personal healing miracles in the Gospels, netting out the duplicates. They not only confirm the message, but also show us that we too can be healed today.
Healing means restoration of health, remedying anomaly or dealing with sickness or a disordered, weakened, or unsound condition.
Sickness is not only in body. It can be physical, spiritual or psychological. It can be caused by different things, including careless living physically and spiritually. There are different conditions and attitudes of men, which can also be described as sickness. Nations and societies can also be sick. God is the Great Physician, Who can heal all manners of sickness. Being omniscient and omnipotent, He alone can truly diagnose and heal every sickness.
Too bad for the sick, if he doesn’t know he is sick. He is into his deathward movement. Many people in Nigeria are sick, both physically and spiritually or morally or socially. Nigeria itself as a state is sick. A country or state, which is confused about which path she is to tread, is sick. A state with enormous challenges bedevilling it because of clueless leaders at the helms of affairs is not healthy.
A nation, where leaders may not be ignorant of what to do, but arrogant and selfish resulting in vindictive and segregational government and subjecting the citizens perpetually under their feet and trampling on them as a way of exercising power is very sick. A society that is both insecure and rebellious is very deadly. A society where insurgency, butchering of people, kidnapping and armed robbery, among others, appears to be the norm is most anomalous. A nation characterised by agitations, grumblings, antipathy, as well as immorality and godlessness by the citizens is anything but healthy.
The sick needs a doctor. He also needs to cooperate with the doctor. He has to heed the doctor’s advice and instructions to be healed. We are miserably sick and need God, our Healer, more than ever. We also have our roles to play, as we work with God to be healed and keep healthy.
Naaman, in 2 Kings 5:1-14 (The Old Testament passage for the day), was a great man, but leprous. All his greatness and connection could not give him healing. It was only God whom he accepted by act of faith and submission that got him healed. Another OT passage for the day (Num. 21:4-9) shows God’s healing of His people whom He afflicted with venomous snakes because of their rebellion, but repented and sought Divine help.
God does not delight in the sickness of His people. Even when sickness comes from Him as punishment for sin, He does not relent to remedy the situation, if the people repent and come to seek Him in humility (2 Chron. 7:13-14).
• Ven. (Dr. Princewill. O. Ireoba is Rector, Ibru International Ecumenical Centre, Agbarha-Otor, Delta State.
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